Illini Football Report

News and notes from Tuesday's practice:

UI softball lands recruit

Katie O'Connell, a second baseman at Joliet Township West High School, has verbally committed to the Illinois softball program. O'Connell has been a three-year starter at a school that has an 82-25 record, two regional championships, a Sweet 16 and an Elite Eight appearance.

O'Connell was selected to the Illinois Coaches Association All-State second team in 1999. She hit .333 as a freshman, .357 as a sophomore and .326 as a junior.

Sixteen sweet to Illini

The Illini on Monday checked in the first AP Top 25 poll of 1999-2000 at No. 16 – their highest preseason ranking since Henson's 1989-90 team debuted at No. 8.

"Whenever something like this happens, it's always nice for the program," UI forward Cleotis Brown said. "But within the program, we've got to stay hungry. We can't settle for 16th. We've got to strive for better."

Illini Men''s Basketball Report

   The bad news: Lucas Johnson has a broken nose, and will undergo surgery Wednesday morning.

   The good news: "Doc says no Bill Laimbeer mask," Johnson said.

Bowlful of benefits

CHAMPAIGN – Think a bowl trip is all parties, sightseeing and free meals? Think again.

College coaches like the postseason because it gives them bonus practices. A lot of them.

Tatelines: UI learning how to draw the linemen

Last spring, when Kirk Ferentz took over the shambles of Hayden Fry's 3-8 program, it was reported in the Iowa media that the shortage of quality linemen was so severe the Hawkeyes surely would suffer.

It now appears Iowa will go winless in the Big Ten, not because Ladell Betts can't run or Scott Mullen can't pass, but because Iowa is getting whipped every week up front.

Fast-paced Illinois puts on exhibition

   CHAMPAIGN  It''s dangerous business trying to glean much from lopsided exhibition games. But Monday''s tour de force by the Illinois women''s basketball team reinforced a playing style exhibited at three week''s worth of practices.

   The Illini plan to run, and 10 poor souls from Lithuania suffered from the consequences before an announced crowd of 3,621 at the Assembly Hall.

Winning part of routine

CHAMPAIGN – Ron Turner has gone from running a winless team to a Coach of the Year contender. So how different is life with his newfound success?

Not much.

Freshman keys Illini swim win

CHAMPAIGN – Freshman Astrid Matthias won an individual event and was on two winning relay teams Sunday, helping the Illinois women's swim team win for the first time in eight tries against Kansas in the Dual Meet Extravaganza at IMPE Pool.

The Day After - Review/Preview


Every game has a defining moment when the outcome is established. Here's the play from Saturday's Illinois-Iowa game: